We also contribute to new knowledge for use in national priority areas and are tasked to foster innovation, particularly with a view to linking basic and applied research.

A safer society

NORSAR fulfills this role within several arenas related to Earth sciences. Specifically, since its establishment in 1968, NORSAR has conducted research and development within seismology and nuclear explosion monitoring. Along with the installation and operation of advanced seismic monitoring stations in mainland Norway, on Spitsbergen and Jan Mayen, this research has provided significant contributions to the technical components of the global verification regime for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and thereby contributed to a safer society.


The long-term research activities within seismology has over the years given rise to a series of new developments and business areas at NORSAR, such as assessment of earthquake hazards and risks, monitoring of earthquakes and unstable rock slopes, and mapping of the Earth’s crustal structure. Similarly, NORSAR is developing new methodologies for observation and analysis of very small (micro) earthquakes to be used for monitoring and management of e.g. geological CO2 storage, dams, geothermal facilities, mines and nuclear waste storage facilities.

Software for the oil and gas sector

Of high relevance to the petroleum industry, inventions by NORSAR’s researchers of seismic prospecting methods are being further developed into a new suite of software products, now extensively used as tools in the exploration of new and existing oil and gas fields.

Weather and climate studies

NORSAR is seeking new applications of its longstanding expertise in solid earth wave propagation (seismology).  Based on the introduction of infrasound (long period sound waves in the atmosphere) technology for CTBT verification, and NORSAR’s establishment of an advanced CTBT infrasound monitoring station at Bardufoss, northern Norway, we have initiated a research program to utilize infrasound technology for weather and climate studies.  Additionally, the observation and analysis of seismic waves propagating in the cryosphere (i.e. the frozen part of the Earth’s surface) are included as an integral part of this research program. Of particular interest here are observations made at NORSAR’s stations deployed in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.